Yesterday, and all this week really, I got to be witness to incredible acts of love. Not far from where I live in Virginia, an eight year old autistic boy was lost in the woods last Sunday while on a hike with his father. They searched all of Sunday and into the night with heat sensing equipment but didn’t find him. The police put out a call for volunteers. Over the course of the week thousands of people from all over showed up to volunteer. The terrain in the park was heavy with underbrush and briars, marshy areas and rocky cliffs. There was also a river in one area of the park. People were warned by the search coordinators that this was not easy work because of the terrain. The warnings did not deter them as people showed up in groups or on their own to help find this little boy. They showed up every day by the hundreds even over a thousand to the point where they had to turn volunteers away.
Friday was a day that I could offer my help. My daughters had appointments at 7:00 a.m. but when they were finished and dropped at school by around 8:15 a.m. I was ready to head out of town to try to arrive by the 9:00 a.m. time they had set for volunteers. I knew someone involved with the search and he had suggested that I call him before I left town to check in. I called him as I was driving out of town. It was a little before 8:30 and he told me they already had over 1000 people waiting in line to volunteer! While I had a moment of disappointment at not being able to do something constructive myself, I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love that had been offered all week for this little boy and his family. It was absolutely beautiful and an incredible testament to the power of love.
At around 2:00 p.m. they found him alive and well about a mile from where he had been lost. He was taken to a hospital and reunited with his family. Though with the display of love shown to him this week I think his family is much larger than he might have thought. I’m grateful to be part of that family and am inspired by such love! Clearly you don’t have to search far to find immense love in the world.